Friday, April 22, 2011
Our New Curriculum
When we started homeschooling, it was simpler. I only taught one of our children and we used a program through the local school district so everything was provided. By year three, we chose to homeschool all three of our girls and new challenges came up. I chose a thematic curriculum based on the recommendation of friends. I loved the idea of teaching the same lesson to all of my children and having the science, social studies, Bible, music, and art all connected. It wasn't until I was knee-deep into this particular curriculum that I realized what I didn't like about it. My younger girls struggled when I pulled out the main science book which was written over their heads. Conversely, my older daughter groaned when we did social studies because she knew that she would be receiving a pile of worksheets to complete in addition to what we did as a group. I knew there had to be something better for us. In preparing for next year, I came across a curriculum offered by the publishers whom we use for math and language arts. From the sample I received, it seemed that someone took great pains to make the each lesson appropriate for each grade level. I just wanted to look at it in a little more depth before committing. When I arrived at the homeschool conference, I was disappointed that the publisher chose not to bring this program with them. I wasn't disappointed for long. Only a couple of booths over, we found something that I ended up liking so much more. At first I was overwhelmed by Tapestry of Grace. I thought it would be too much for my young children. However, the more I looked at it, the more I liked it. It is based in history, beginning at creation. The main thread is God's story and the history of the church. Social studies, history, art, music, and language arts are woven through the curriculum that is taught primarily using literature. The CDs I mentioned in a prior post, are for the dads to listen to so they can be a part of discussions about lessons and know what is being taught each week. I liked the idea of an intelligent curriculum that teaches kids to think things through. I took home a sample of the curriculum and it didn't take long for me to be sold on it. If you'd like to find out more about Tapestry of Grace, take a look here.